I waste a lot of time. I think it’s a natural thing for most people to do, which is sort of sad, because I haven’t met one person who said, “Man, I just have so much free time.”
I’ve been looking at this book writing thing very closely for a long time, and all I do is read about it. I know I’m not a special snowflake, and that’s why, even without selling a single book, I know the secret to this industry.
It is the same secret that has followed everything since the dawn of time. It’s a simple formula: Time + meaningful effort + luck = success.
You can boil everything down to that formula. I’m not going to argue that luck and time spent are unimportant. I think they both have their place. If Oprah picked up a book tomorrow that had sold zero copies and decided, for the thrill of it, that she wanted to mention it on TV, bam you’re a billionaire overnight. Unfortunately, it isn’t going to happen.
That’s why I think the most important thing a person can do is apply meaningful effort. I read this book about Mickey Mantle when I was a kid. He talked about how hanging a baseball from the ceiling with a rope and spent HOURS hitting the thing.
Malcom Gladwell wrote an entire book on the subject, it’s called Outliers. Go read it. Every success story is yes, about luck, but a person needs to have the requisite skill to make a go of it. You need to put in your ten thousand hours to get good at something.
I can’t tell you all the things that might make a person good at anything. I can’t tell you how much innate talent or ability makes up of success. I do know lots of people who struggled and put in the time and effort and made something of themselves in very difficult fields.
I also know people who are amazing artists who never did more than sketch in their notepads. You need to apply your effort in a meaningful way.
There is one thing I do know, if you have any amount of talent, you can practice enough to make a go of it. Just don’t kid yourself into thinking that whatever it is you are doing is going to be easy.
I’m going to try to make a go of this writer thing. I’m not sure if I have 10k hours or not. I’m not even sure if I have the requisite talent.
What I am going to do is make sure I put out the best possible product I can. Not the one I settled for, but the best product.
The only way I can do that is by spending my time, effort, and money in a reasonable way. I will do that, this I promise. Every. Single. Time.